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r I i, reader who is in difficulty w Lth reference L Ms gar I en, will write lirect to the ad- beneith. uis qu^rie< will !•«» an* i <L&re^» *ree ot cU.u-ge, ami by raiurn oi post H y^lTOR], J#mel TL5 ^respondents omit to add their names, „ i IP,1Merely end with initials. In thes^ cases B fi#c4|y lBobviously impossible to reply.— E.K T. GF!TI THE FLOWER GARDEN IN »*# FEBRUARY. "Jjt MANURING KOSES. il r6 time is now hand f ir this very int- talit work. If solid manure be applied, it at be thoroughly decomposed; but we do how such fertilizers can be satisfactorily >|ired roots of established roses without uC^@^ng them, unless mjerely as a top dressing rfor *w objections *'° course are, in our %^l0n' manifold. For instance, such 4,a top Ms ™ '8 unsightly in the first place and if it x&i on thickly enough to do much good, it ents access of sunlight and air to the soil, idea encouraging weeds. We are inclined to he *t" night soil amongst the best solid manures Vr« oses if dng in deeply near the trees. Coming i d *inV° tlie q«esfcion of liquid manures, we will »Im?y the advantages of application, a'' /jc "e first place, it i3 obvious that the roots 0* 'C°nly absorb nutriment in the form of a 0 fe 0r ^es9 concentrated solution; and that „ e Soodness of a top dressing must be washed | & to the roots before they can assimilate it. tt #b^Ce application of liquid manure does all "j* possible to solid manure by providing a JWtik6 0r 'G8S concentrated solution of food, .°ut tbe disadvantages of solid manures. the U8e of manure does not dis- Adi^ta the roots, and—a matter of great impor- can be given just when the Avai>ta wa,nt it. We prefer to prepare liquid by placing old cow-dung, that has been tf' y'eUilly preserved, and not washed b? rain, in if "t»irrel °f water. After standing for two or jiifc. and being occasionally stirred, the 'flu a?11^ »ay be diluted with four times its volume I and applied with discretion. If liquid v^ings from manure heaps are used undiluted f t c^re must be taken that none of the liquid ii* 'vj^hes the plant, as it would kill any foliage it y bed. There are two dangers to be avoided, jjjd 86« the use of strong liquid manure when the $f4f0,lnd is dry, and sesoad, too liberal treatment I plants. The drier the ground, the W -er must be the solution applied, strong • it, 0QS being given only after rain and only fjfj^gly growing, vigorous plants must have Itikh tnanure, since such applications would very kill weakly and newly planted specimens. J ^ary is undoubtedly the best month for j P%ing artificial manure also, that which has perhaps the best being a mixture of Olit 6 Part8 superphosphate of lime, ten parts j» Xurate of potash, two parts sulphate of magne- f toi' Part sulphate of iron, and eight parts l« >Wpllate of lime, applied at the rate of a quarter 1 Per square yard. It is well to loosen the i- ii pose beds during the month by means of (R -•» tioe. I"; PRUNING ROSES. ^J°wards mid-February the pruning of roses slnny walls may be commenced, and later be nonth and in March all hardy kinds can iv^Cuoe(i. The first points to be attended to cutting out of all dead and decaying and of all shoots which appear weakly in Dtuned. The first points to be attended to cutting out of all dead and decaying and of all shoots which appear weakly in g^P^ison with the rest of the plant. An 1 pj- ^'Qation must then be made of the whole ( with a view of forming it into a good ffn^8 1 emoving crossed and misplaced shoots v j.. 1,1 their very base. The object of pruning is to cub away as much old wood as pos- 'o'e each season, and at the same time have a en formed head. Now, as to how many buds the shoots are t) be cut back, there is for- 'lately definite indication in the growth of €ch plant. The more vigorous the growth, the Olore buds that may be safely left up to a Maximum of five or six on Sihe shoots. It seems first sight foolish to cut a weakly plant back | hard, but the justice of this severe treat- i -rleQt will be seen when it is considered that the I t0*0^8 Poorly growing individuals cannot | »l4' £ e op sufficient nourishment to support more |i }lan one or two buds on a shoot. When cut (i back to a bud, do so to one pointing out- £ j ards, as the shoot will grow in the direction 11 which the bud points. h HARDY ANNUAL FLOWERS, r. ^lowers raised from autumn sowings and in- !< fueled for spring blooming must be kept free V. r°m weeds, and may have a mulch of rich j&anure to protect and etr.engthen them. Those t "'at require transplanting should be moved ^he.n weather permits. SOWING SEEDS. I The nearness of the seed season makes it "08irable to consider the question of sowing properly, as most failures are directly attribu- table to injudicious treatment SOIL FOR SOWINGS. I'he soil for pots or pans in which seed is to sown must allow of perfect drainage, Without drying up too rapidly. A compost of mould, peat or turfy loam and sharp sand admirably, as, indeed, will any good Potting soil, admixed with about one-third its rjUk of very sandy loam or of coarse silver r?d A really good soil should fall apart after i&g pressed in the hand. DRAINAGE OF SOWINGS. d All seed pans and pots must be thoroughly Mned with potsherds or other coarse material; this layer may be covered with dead 8Pha.gnum moss, on which is first placed the j fcrse sittings, the finest of the soil being kept °r the top. DEPTH OF SOWINGS. Many amateurs are unsuccessful in raising r^ice flowers from-seeds solely because they !*Ury them. The depth of sowing of seeds is jugulated by the necessity of covering them ^<th just enough soil to keep them moist, It out preventing free access of the oxygen of e atmosphere, so that the thickness of depends upon the size of the seeds and porosity of the soil. When the seedlings ^lU not be transplanted, it is, of course, neces- to take into consideration the fixing of the I'PIOnta firmly in the soil. Out of doors, a depth two inches is enough for sunflower and other l8orously growing seeds, while medium sized pd small seeds need a covering of from one ^h to half-inch. Seeds sown in pots can be °»ered with a layer of fine soil from a quarter ■ half inch in depth, but, generally speaking, i* sufficient to cover them with about their thickness of mould. Minute seeds, such as jr,ca, calceolaria, gesnera, achimenes, mimu- ?8> lobelia, begonia, primula, gloxinia, carna- pink, etc., and spores germinate best if ^*0 on the surface of well-drained pots of t,OttlpoSt, pressed down with a flat board, and t,en plunged into a shallow tray of tepid water /•til the whole of the soil becomes moist, when J?e pot or pan may be covered with a sheet of ? to prevent evaporation, and placed in or in a cool frame, according to the out- temperature and the hardiness of the of plant. TEMPERATURE OF SOWINGS. All plant8 can be divided for our present pur- I into 3 classes, the first of which contains ^ardy and half hardy plants, while the second nd third respectively consist of warm green- °Use and atove species. All hardy and half a-rdy plant seeds germinate freely in a tem- j^jrature of from 50 deg. to 60 deg., while those warm greenhouse species require a tempera i-re of from 65 deg. to 80 deg., and stove plants °m BO deg. to 95 deg. THICKNESS OF SOWING. ¡ 1)0 thick sowing is a danger to be guarded ^ainat, for not only is seed thus wasted, but ha6 of the seedlings is injured by their to compete with one another for air Va • d, so that thin sowing should be in- ,jj^laWy practised. Damping off' is a fungous | tin S8e common fco young seedlings and cut-1 jjQ The stems become brown and contrac- the surface of the soil, aud in a very j Bhort time they rot and fall over. This ailment j is much encouraged by a moist, close atmos phere, crowding and oarele«« waoeriug and plants are (i> culiarly susceptible to dampill.off when only sufficient w iter is ,dven to keel- the surface moist*, while tlte undersoil remains dry. Atlii li v-t symptom of the trouble admii, iir freely, an prick out the seedlings. WATERING SOWINGS. Excess of moisture is responsible for the rot- ting of many seedi. Indeed, by preventing tli n free access of the oxygen of the atmos. ph t 10 much water is aginjui-iouits t jo deep mowing. As it rule, the smaller the seeds the less moisture they need, and it is always more advisable to retain the original soil moisture by preventing evaporation with sheets of glass or paper, or with lighs litter, than to water seed beds frequently, and so cause them to become caked. Very small seeds must. not be actuary watered, the necessary moisture being supplied to them by standing the pot, or pan in a shallow vessel of water for a time, as previously advised. METHOD OF SOWING. For ordinary garden crops, drilling is much preferable to broadcasting, because it permits of the ground being stirred and hoed earlier and more expeditiously. The distance between drills must, of course, be regulated by the space necessary to afford the foliage of plants abundant light and air if they are not all to be transplanted. ABUSE OF WATER. The surface soil often becomes dry, while that in the lower and middle portions of a pot is yet damp, and if a practise be made of watering whenever the soil is dry on the top, the roots are gradually suffocated by the con- tinuous saturation of the lower parts of the pot with water preventing the circulation of air around and between them. The respira- tion of roots is always stopped in water logged soil. If gardeners would only consider the extreme variations as to water supply that are safely endured by plants growing under natural conditions, the very many and grave diseases induced by injudiciously liberal watering, con- sequent on over anxiety for the welfare of the plants, could be avoided. WHEN TO WATER. Pot plants will not be harmed if left un- watered, until the pots sound hollow on being rapped. Indeed, it is postively beneficial to most plants, excepting perhaps rapidly growing herbaceous species, to occasionally feel the want of water. WHEN TO WATER FREELY. All plants require liberal supplies of water when they are producing new snoots, because then they need considerable amounts of mineral salts from the soil for the building up of a new organic tissue. There is very little risk of over-watering rapidly growing herbaceous plants at any time excepting during their actual rest-period. E. KEMP TOOGOOD, F.R.H.S., pro Toogood and Sons, The Royal Seed Establishment, Southampton.

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